Chandigarh, January 23, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)
Taking serious note of delay in release of pending payment of Post Matric scholarships to the Scheduled Caste students, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday said that he would soon take up the issue with the Prime Minister.
Reviewing the progress of the Post Matric Scholarship Scheme, he said he would request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene for immediate release of Rs 780 crore under the centrally-sponsored scheme for the year 2017-18 without any further delay.
The Chief Minister also directed the Principal Secretary, Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities, to prepare a comprehensive case to be submitted to the Government of India in this regard at the earliest, and to work out the modalities for immediate release of requisite funds under the scheme.
Referring to the pending central funds of Rs 309 crore under the scheme for the year 2016-17, Captain Amarinder asked the Finance Department to immediately release the state’s pending share of Rs. 57 crore so that the necessary utilisation certificate could be submitted to the Centre for enabling early release of their outstanding share of Rs 309 crore for the said period. He directed that the certificate be submitted by January 31, 2020, without fail.
The Chief Minister asked the Principal Secretary to ensure disbursement of the Rs 57 crore to eligible students within a week. Further, once the certificate is submitted, the Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities Department should pursue the matter with the Centre to secure early release of the Rs 309 crore amount, he instructed.
Reiterating his Government’s commitment for the welfare of Scheduled Castes, Captain Amarinder Singh also asked the Chief Secretary to regularly monitor the progress of Post Matric Scholarship Scheme so as to ensure that the career of the poor SC students is not jeopardised.
The issue of the revised guidelines for the Post Matric Scholarship scheme for Scheduled Castes also came up for discussion and it was pointed out that the Chief Minister had written to the Union Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment on June 17, 2018 seeking review of the new guidelines, which would only serve to put the SC students in a highly disadvantaged position, besides imposing an unmanageable financial burden on the State Government.
Prominent amongst others, who attended the meeting included Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Chief Principal Secretary to CM Suresh Kumar, Principal Secretary Finance Anirudh Tiwari, CM’s Principal Secretary Tejveer Singh, Principal Secretary Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities Kripa Shankar Saroj, Principal Secretary Technical Education Anurag Verma, Secretary Health Kumar Rahul, Secretary Higher Education Rahul Bhandari, Secretary School Education Krishan Kumar, Secretary Animal Husbandry Raj Kamal Chaudhary, Special Principal Secretary to CM Gurkirat Kirpal Singh and Director Social Justice, Empowerment and Minorities Devinder Singh.